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Odisha: Three dead, several injured in separate road accidents



Bhubaneswar, April 8 (IANS) Three persons died while several others sustained severe injuries in separate road accidents in different parts of Odisha on Monday.

In the first incident, three friends from the Raikia area in Kandhamal district were returning home on a scooter after attending a religious festival at a village under Sarangada police limits on Monday when victims suddenly lost balance of their scooter at the turning point near a bridge.

They later fell into a 20ft deep gorge at Budamaha under Raikia police limits.

“A local informed the police about the incident. We immediately rushed to the spot and rescued the bodies of the deceased persons. We have initiated a probe to know the exact reason behind the mishap,” said a police official.

Police have identified the deceased as Basant Panda (30), Kushal Diggal (25) and Brahmananda Bhoi (25) of Raikia area of Kandhamal district. Panda was a tea stall owner while Bhoi and Diggal used to work as daily wagers.

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In another incident, around 10 tourists were injured after the bus they were travelling in crashed into a rock on Dwarsuni ghat on National Highway-49 on Monday.

The tourists were returning to their home in Murshidabad area in West Bengal after visiting tourist spots in Rourkela.

Similarly, around 10 passengers were injured as a bus rammed into a roadside tree near G.Nuagaon Chowk under Bellaguntha police limits in Ganjam district.



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Kerala CPI-M gives clean chit to CM Vijayan, says will reach out in people




Thiruvananthapuram, June 20 (IANS) After its five-day leadership meeting to take stock of the mauling it received at the Lok Sabha polls, the CPI-M’s Kerala unit on Thursday said that it has decided it would go back to the people, but ruled out the defeat being due to the style of functioning of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Like in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI-M-led Left managed to get just one seat, while the Congress-led UDF won 18 seats and the BJP won its first-ever seat in the state.

State CPI-M Secretary M.V. Govindan said even while party leaders felt there were things which were against the Left, they did not expect such a reversal and admitted that they failed to gauge the feelings of the people.

“ At our stock-taking meeting, we have identified a few reasons as to why we suffered a setback. Since the Lok Sabha poll is to elect a new Central government, it is natural that people would have thought since the Congress is far better placed than us, they voted for the Congress.”

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“However, in our detailed analysis, we have found out there are issues. During the Lok Sabha polls, the various Muslim parties rallied together and voted for the Congress. Then another change this time is that casteist forces came into play. In the Hindu Ezhava community, which was always our strong base, there was an aberration. A section led by Tushar Vellapally, who heads the BDJS (the second-biggest party of the BJP-led NDA), took away sizeable votes. Along with this, the Christian community’s votes got leaked to the BJP as we even saw some bishops taking part in BJP functions. So all of these contributed to our poor performance,” Govindan added.

He also contended that there were issues in disbursing the social welfare pensions “due to the strangulation of finance by the Centre, who got the support of the Congress-led UDF MPs from here”.

“Now we have decided to go to the people. We will hear what they have to say and we will also tell them what we have to say. The right-wing media is strongly against us and they were weaving out baseless stories against Vijayan and his family. We are sure we will be able to convince the people and get them back. All our national leaders will be coming and will attend four regional meetings (from July 2 to 4)… there will be a meeting with the people at the grassroots also,” Govindan said.

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To a question if Vijayan’s style of functioning was a point that was discussed, Govindan shot back: “Which style of Vijayan has to be changed? Look at the 2019 polls also, we suffered a similar defeat and what happened… we won the 2020 local bodies poll and at the 2021 Assembly polls, we created a record by retaining power – such a thing has never happened before, but our tally also went up. It was Vijayan who led us. Style is not built overnight.”



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AP means Amaravati, Polavaram, says CM Naidu




Amaravati, June 20 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday visited Amaravati capital region to get first-hand information about the status of the capital’s development work and said Andhra Pradesh stands for Amaravati and Polavaram.

A week after assuming office as Chief Minister, he went around Amaravati where work on the capital came to a grinding halt in 2019 after the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government decided to develop three state capitals, reversing the decision of the earlier TDP government to build Amaravati as the sole capital.

CM Naidu began his visit from Praja Vedika, a building demolished by the previous government headed by Jagan Mohan Reddy in 2019.

He saw the debris of the structure built by him close to his official residence when he was the Chief Minister between 2014 and 2019.

The Chief Minister later told media persons that the government will keep the debris of Praja Vedika so that people remember the destructive role of Jagan Mohan Reddy like people remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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The TDP leader said farmers of Amaravati withdrew their 1,631-days’ long protest after formation of the coalition government with the hope that it will complete capital development work.

CM Naidu, who had visited Polavaram three days ago, said Andhra Pradesh means Amaravati and Polavaram.

He said he had taken up capital development so that people don’t have to migrate to other states for work.

Similarly, Polavaram was given priority as the project, when completed, would irrigate the entire state.

Naidu also visited Uddandarayunipalem, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation for the capital in 2015.

Claiming that he tried to create brand Amaravati, he alleged that Jagan Mohan Reddy tried to kill it by making false allegations of insider trading and forced the Singapore Consortium to leave.

CM Naidu said the YSRCP government harassed the farmers, who had given their lands for capital development.

The Chief Minister visited the Seed Axis Road, the housing complexes for the All India Service officers, ministers and High Court judges.

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The works started by the earlier TDP government had come to a halt.

He said the previous government did not to stop theft of construction materials from Amaravati.

CM Naidu said Jagan tried to divide people in the name of three capitals. He assured that the government would work for development of all the regions.

He recalled that 11 educational institutions were launched in different parts of the state to ensure their development.

The Chief Minister also went around the places where construction works were started during the earlier TDP regime for the iconic buildings.

CM Naidu has already declared that the TDP-Jana Sena-BJP government will develop Amaravati as the sole state capital.

In 2019, Jagan-led government had announced that three state capitals would be developed. The YSRCP government had mooted Visakhapatnam as the administrative capital, Kurnool as the judicial capital and Amaravati as legislative capital.

After assuming office as minister for municipal administration and urban development on June 16, P. Narayana had said that state capital works would be completed in two-and-a-half years.

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He made it clear that Amaravati would be developed as per the old master plan.

Narayana said development of Amaravati in three phases would cost Rs.1 lakh crore.

The first phase was taken up by the earlier TDP government at a cost of Rs.48,000 crore.



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All people living in K’taka should learn Kannada: CM Siddaramaiah




Bengaluru, June 20 (Karnataka) Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that it is the responsibility of every Kannadiga to protect Kannada language, land and water.

He gave a call for creating a Kannada atmosphere in Karnataka.

“It is the duty of all to create a Kannada atmosphere. For that, all the people living in Karnataka should learn Kannada. We cannot remain silent like that,” he stated.

He was addressing a gathering after performing Bhoomi Puja for the construction of a bronze statue of goddess Nada Devi Bhuvaneswari near the western entrance of Vidhana Soudha as part of the Karnataka Namakarana Suvarna Mahotsava celebrations organised by the Department of Kannada and Culture.

“Kannadigas are not insolent. But love for Kannada should be developed. We should not become like the bigots in other states. But we should develop respect and admiration for our language, land and country,” he said.

“Everyone must decide to speak in Kannada with those who live in Karnataka. A vow must be taken that no language other than Kannada is spoken. Kannadigas are generous. That is why there is an environment in Karnataka where even those who speak other languages can live without learning Kannada,” he stated.

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“The same situation cannot be seen in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. They speak only in their mother tongue. We also have to speak in our mother tongue. That should make us proud,” the CM said.

CM Siddaramaiah said that he hoped that mother Bhuvaneswari’s statue would inspire everyone in this regard.

He said that the work should be completed by November 2024 as there was no shortage of funds.

The CM said that a bronze statue of about 25 feet height would be constructed in the premises of Vidhana Soudha.

“We have installed statues of many politicians. I think the statue will add to the charm of the Vidhana Soudha,” he stated.



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Madhya Pradesh: Cong candidate for Amarwara bypoll Dheeransha Invati files nomination




Bhopal, June 20 (IANS) Congress candidate for the July 10 Amarwara bypoll in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district — Dheeransha Invati — on Thursday filed his nomination for the upcoming electoral contest.

The Congress on Wednesday announced Invati’s name as the party nominee against BJP’s Kamlesh Shah.

Madhya Pradesh unit Congress chief Jitu Patwari, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Umang Singhar and former state Cabinet minister Sajjan Singh Verma, along with several party leaders accompanied Invati during the nomination filing process.

Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Kamal Nath, who was also expected to accompany Invati on Thursday, however, was not present.

Kamal Nath on Wednesday, through a social media post, appealed to the people of Amarwara to support Invati.

BJP’s nominee for the July 10 bypoll, Kamlesh Shah, had already filed his nomination papers in the presence of Chief Minister Mohan Yadav and state unit BJP chief V.D. Sharma on Tuesday.

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Kamlesh Shah, a Congress-turned-BJP leader, is a three-time MLA from Amarwara Assembly constituency. Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Shah switched to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and also resigned as a Congress legislator, necessitating the by-election.

The Congress won all seven assembly seats of Chhindwara district in the November 2023 Assembly polls.

However, Kamlesh Shah moving to the BJP camp and resigning as Congress MLA necessitated the by-election.



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UP Police intensify crackdown on criminals after elections




Lucknow, June 20 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh Police have once again intensified its crackdown on criminals. Over the past 15 days, after the conclusion of the Lok Sabha polls, police have conducted 79 rapid operations, dealing a significant blow to criminal activities across the state.

A state government spokesman said that during these operations conducted from June 4 to June 19, two notorious criminals have been killed, while 96 criminals have been injured.

During the period, 139 criminals have been arrested while seven policemen have been injured in these encounters.

According to Director General of Police (DGP) Prashant Kumar, action is continuously going on against 68 state-level identified mafia gang members and associates.

“So far, action has been taken against 9 members of various mafia gangs at various levels. Out of these, three have been arrested, while action has been taken against 1 under the Gangster Act and 2 under the Goonda Act,” he said.

He further noted that following extensive court proceedings, Bhadohi’s mafia Vijay Mishra was sentenced on June 13 in a pending case.

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Meanwhile, police achieved a significant breakthrough by arresting Vinay Tyagi alias Tinku, a mafia with a bounty of Rs 50,000 on his head from Muzaffarnagar.

He said that a reward of Rs 25,000 was placed on Asif alias Pappu Smart, a dreaded member of Kanpur’s Saud Akhtar gang, who has since been apprehended by the police.

Furthermore, the Special Task Force (STF) successfully apprehended Utkarsh Singh, an active member of Ambedkar Nagar’s Ajay Singh Sipahi gang. Utkarsh also carried a bounty of Rs 25,000 placed on him.

In addition to these operations, authorities confiscated 4.4570 hectares of land belonging to Muzaffarnagar’s notorious mafia Sushil Moonchh, estimated at Rs 4.5 crore.

Meanwhile, Jaunpur’s infamous criminal Prashant Singh Prince and Muzaffarnagar’s Nilesh Rai were killed in separate police encounters.



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